Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Only Light in the Darkness REVIEW -

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Mania Grade: B

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  • Episode: The Only Light in the Darkness (Season 1, Episode 19)
  • Starring: Clark Gregg. Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Bill Paxton, Patton Oswalt, Amy Acker
  • Written By: Monica Owusu-Breen
  • Directed By: Vincent Misiano
  • Network: ABC
  • Studio: Mutant Enemy, Marvel Television, ABC Studios
  • Series:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Only Light in the Darkness REVIEW

3 Episodes to go!

By Tim Janson     April 23, 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Only Light in the Darkness Review
© Marvel Entertainment

Definitely have mixed feelings about this week’s episode of MAOS.  On one hand it was another reasonably good episode although not as good as the last two weeks.  On the other hand the two story lines both seemed rushed and left too many questions unanswered.

Ward has shown up at the secret base in Canada known as Providence.  He relates a mostly accurate story about how HYDRA infiltrated and took over The Fridge, release the prisoners held there, and stole the many powerful alien artifacts and high tech weapons.  He leaves out the bit about being a Hydra Agent of course but tells the team that he killed Agent Garrett.  Now I found it interesting and a little sloppy that no one seemed to question him about how he managed to make it to safety when the Fridge was taken over.

Coulson is immediately concerned about the escaped prisoners including one named Marcus Daniels who was the prisoner we saw briefly last week during the breakout.  Daniels is known in the Marvel Universe as the villain, Blackout.  Not the demon Blackout of the Ghost Rider comics but rather the member of Zemo’s Masters of Evil who can control the Darkforce.  He is one of several Marvel heroes or villains who use the Darkforce including Shroud and Darkhawk.  Coulson put Daniels away previously and leads most of the team, except for War, Skye, and May, in tracking him down again.

Coulson correctly determines that Daniels will go after a famous cellist, Audrey Nathan (Amy Acker) whom he had stalked previously.  However the team soon finds out that instead of trying to remove Blackout’s powers, they instead amplified them.  He displays the ability to project blasts of Darkforce as a concussive force.  After being defeated once, the team has to set a trap, using Audrey as bait, leading to the revelation that she and Coulson had been lovers with Audrey believing that Coulson was dead.

At the Providence Base, Koenig, who we now know is the grandson of the member of the Howling Commandos of the same name, submits the team to a high tech lie detector test and nearly catches Ward but the traitorous agent manages to use his true affection for Skye as a means to fool the machine.  Again, Ward gets off too easy here.  Despite Koenig being a bit of a flaky character he is perceptive.  I’d have rather him catch Ward outright in a lie and have Ward overpower Koenig.  Instead we get Ward apparently shooting Koenig in the back and killing him off camera.  

Skye discovers his body but doesn’t give it away.  With no choice and the rest of the team gone, Skye has to accompany Ward on the Bus as they leave the base.  In the final segment, May, who has left the team, is picked up by her mother who is apparently an intelligence agent as well.  They mention they are looking for Agent Maria Hill, last seen in the pilot episode.

Love the fact that they featured Blackout, a human character with actual super powers, as opposed to utilizing alien weaponry or high tech enhancements…hated the fact that the writers minimized him by making him a nutbag celebrity stalker.  And I know that Fitz cooked up some super techie weapons to help take Daniels down but it still looked like they were just shining stage lights at him.  

And damn it all…killing off Koenig after just two episodes is a huge disappointment.  Patton Oswalt had brought his quirky sense of humor to the role to give us one of the best new characters in the show.  One good chuckle was finding out that Skye had been given the name of “Mary Sue Poots” at the orphanage…suddenly Skye doesn’t sound so bad.


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ElBaz13 4/24/2014 5:34:34 AM

Loved the episode. This show has gotten better since the Sif episode.

Too bad about Koenig. Was hoping to have him as a re-occuring character.

Funny how people thought Ward was playing double agent for Coulson. Not a chance.

dalgoda 4/24/2014 5:47:30 AM

My family and I have been watching this show all season and now really look forward to it after almost giving up on the show earlier in the season.  This was another great episode.  I was hoping Koenig (Patton Oswalt) was a recurring character as well as Garrett (Bill Paxton).  Hopefully they do keep Garrett around as a bad guy and he pops up in the movies also.  The show is really hitting its stride and looking forward to the last three episodes.

Eldogg42 4/24/2014 5:47:58 AM

Agree, good episode, and good review.  One comment though "make it to safety", He was beaten and battered enough, to where he fractured his facial bones, and had cracked ribs.  We know he is a highly trained special agent.  He should be able to handle himself against some lowly hydra agents.  And once he got the upperhand against GArret, he killed him.  I didn't think this was sloppy at all.  Pretty par for the character.  I liked Oswalt also.  Sucks that they killed him off.  He was a funny fan-boy character.  Would of liked a little more with the scene with the Lie Detector.  Would of been cool to hear some easter eggs in that scene.  I'm convinced that Skye will end up being an already established MArvel Character.  To convienent, that she was an orphan and no one knows her real birth name.

redvector 4/24/2014 5:55:29 AM

Ward didn't shoot Koenig he strangled him. He used a piece of wire. If Ward had shot him in the back he wouldn't have gotten blood all over him.

redvector 4/24/2014 6:09:40 AM

 I agree that Skye is going to be revealed as an established Marvel character or at least have some connection to an established character. I'm leaning toward her having alien origins, probably Kree. It would be a nice tie into GotG. 

ElBaz13 4/24/2014 6:29:03 AM

I still think Skye is Jessica Drew. Yes, she was an annoying character at the beginning (and still fanboy hate to this day) but I think the character has gotten better. With her realizing Ward is a bad dude, I think she will take the job seriously.

What was that thing Ward pulled out of his finger nail? Was it something to beat the lie detector test?

Can't believe Ward has become such an ass. I'm guessing Tripplett will replace him or....maybe Skye will get Deathlok to flip sides?


Eldogg42 4/24/2014 6:46:16 AM

The nail in the fingertip, is to trigger the pain receptors, so He can use the excuse that he is still in pain, thats why the sensors are going off in the test.  Not sure where, but I seen it done before (maybe in a movie) where they use pain to beat the test. 

I'm thinking Jess Drew also.  In this type of sshow, where its Shield vs Hydra, Jessica Drew makes more sense then linking her to Kree.  They already did the Kree Alien in her blood. So if she was already Kree half-breed, the serum, wouldn't of done anything new for her.

ElBaz13 4/24/2014 6:55:38 AM

There are also rumours she is Jessica Jones but not sure of that one since the Netflix series will be on next year, unless they plan to spin her off. I do know Jeph Loeb said the Marvel Netflix series are part of the MCU so they can tie in the movies and MAoS.

There is also a big theory Phil is Captain Marvel (see Ultimate Captain Marvel origin). So this would make an interesting team. Spider-woman, Captain Marvel and maybe Deathlok.

The Netflix show will include the New Defenders. Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Daredevil. Could they add Deathlok or Spider-woman to the group?

I was glad to see Blackout as a super powered villain with no ties to the already established tech we saw (Kree stuff, Asgardian staff, etc...) Smallville overkilled that with everyone having powers from Kryptonite.

He was just a dude with powers.  Nuff said.


blankczech 4/24/2014 7:31:54 AM

 Janson neglects to mention Coulson's connection to Audrey Nathan which is just as well...because that subplot was weak. Nick Fury's super duper lie detector was a bust...wonder how much taxpayers had to dole out for that useless pile of garbage. Of course Koenigs line of questioning was more of a psychological evaluation than a lie detector test as most of his inquiries could not be answered incorrectly. After catching Ward in a few lies his question about why he came to the Providence base was a bit have the guy on the ropes and you hit him with that powder puff? (I'm sure anyone can think of at least 10 questions which would have been better...and there should have been follow-up questions.

I was surprised that it didn't occur to Hydra to try to enlist the services of Marcus Daniels when they freed him from the Fridge (a strange place where some genius thought it would be wise to store exotic weapons of mass destruction and imprison evil monsters in the same building...huh???). Instead Hydra just let's him go on his merry way and Daniels, who turns out to be nothing more than a stalker with some weird powers, moronically goes straight for the object of his misguided affections. This is where Coulson caught him the last time and he is easily apprehended again, in what seems to be a matter of minutes (the guy wasn't hard to track as lights go out when he walks past them).

Despite all of it's flaws I still think the show isn't that bad for a major network commercial television offering (even though it gets trounced in the ratings every week by The Voice, Disney appears to be committed to it). If you're not a diehard Marvel comic book fanatic it may be hard for a semi-intelligent adult (like myself) to make the tremendous suspension of disbelief required to buy into the show, but It's nice family viewing for the 8 PM time slot...not too violent, or sexy...and the heroes aren't just eye candy, they're good role models for the kids (they don't drink, smoke, curse, do drugs, they're relatively smart, obey their superiors, work hard and exercise regularly).

Eldogg42 4/24/2014 7:48:44 AM

Blankczech@  Do you even bother reading the review before you make your own misguided comments?  Janson clearly states the relationship between Coulson & Audrey in the 4th paragraph.  I would think someone with your "semi-intelligence", would of been able to pick that up. 

The reason Garrett (and his offshoot of Hydra) didn't recruit Marcus, was cause they were only concerned with the weapons and Tech.  He even stated that all the escaped prisoners will keep Coulson and crew very busy recapturing them.  Which brings us to Marcus.  Who btw, was deemed to be a pyschopath, which is why who goes "moronically to his misguided affections" .

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